Bryant Galleries in Jackson is not a place that one would likely happen upon if searching for art galleries. It is hidden in a non-descript shopping center off of Lakeland Drive. But then again nowhere in Jackson is a hotbed of an art market. The largest concentration of galleries in Jackson is in Fondren, and I believe that there are only about five. Jackson isn't known for its art offerings which is why I was interested in doing this blog... to attempt to have one more opportunity for artists' work to be viewed. So Bryant's may not be the easiest to find, but it is definitely worth the search. They have a very unique offering of some Mississippi artists and some international artists, and they appear to be very particular about the quality of work that they show. It's a large space, but divided nicely into more intimate areas.
Hanging right now is a duo show of separate work by husband and wife David Lambert and Vidal Blankenstein. David actually runs the gallery. It's interesting to see their work hanging together because living together they must influence each other. They both work in acrylic on panels, but their approaches are quite different. David is also showing some of his airplane sculptures which were included in the Invitational at the Mississippi Museum of Art this year. The Invitational show just came down so I hope you didn't miss it. There was a long article in the national magazine, Art in America, about the Invitational written by guest curator Peter Plagens that was less than flattering but just short of condescending. His arrogant and pompous tone did no credit to the work, but the work didn't need him. It was obviously art of a high caliber that can stand on its own.
When I first saw David's planes in a show at Belhaven they struck me by their witty concept and construction, and yet they were so simply assembled with disregard for attempted craftsmanship. I was pleased to see that this visual language carries over into his paintings as well. The consistency gives credit to the work. David told me that he had not painted in awhile because his focus has been on the airplanes. He looked through some old sketches and found some designs that appealed to him that he developed into paintings. Many of the sketches are displayed next to the final pieces.
Vidal's psychological images are much more layered and painterly. There are recurring symbols of trees and birds and hands and ladders and almond shaped patches that seem to transition between leaves and the all seeing eye. Vidal is a graphic designer, but I think that it is interesting that David's work is the more graphic, illustrational, and cartoon influenced work. I think that artists who have full time jobs aside from their art often produce work that is a contrasting response to what they do all day. Either way, it's just great that they are reserving the energy to produce the work.
Man in Striped Shirt (Lambert)
Soup and Grits (Lambert)
Where are you going? (Blankenstein)